From time to time, disasters happen: you may accidentally delete an important file or folder, and there is no backup at hand. You could also lose files to a virus attack or system crash. While that can easily cause a lot of drama, you don’t need to worry. In most cases, deleted file recovery is quite a straightforward process, and in this article, you will learn how to recover deleted files in Windows 10.

How to Recover Deleted Files

There are different ways to recover deleted files in Windows 10, from using built-in recovery tools to standalone Microsoft and third-party applications. This article will show you how to use Windows File Recovery and third-party software to recover lost files. You’ll also see how to use the File History and Restore Previous Versions options to perform deleted file recovery. 

How to Recover Deleted Files Using Auslogics File Recovery

Auslogics File Recovery is a reliable and affordable Windows file recovery tool that revives deleted files from SD cards, USB flash drives, SSDs, and mechanical drives. It supports every major file system and can recover different file types.

It allows you to recover deleted files in Windows in a straightforward manner unlike the Windows File Recovery tool that involves entering somewhat complicated commands and switches.

The undeleter program also comes with other features such as:

  • Recovering files from lost partitions
  • Secure file shredding
  • Advanced sorting
  • Disk image creation

Follow these steps to use the deleted file recovery program:

  1. Download Auslogics File Recovery from the official website
  2. Open the setup file and click on Yes in the UAC prompt.
  3. On the first page of the installation wizard, select your preferences and click on “Agree and Install.”

How to Install Auslogics File Recovery

  • Click on Finish and allow the tool to launch.
  • Once the program opens, select the drive where the files were deleted. You can search for deleted files in more than one drive at a time.
  • Next, select the types of files you want to recover, choose the drive where you want to perform the search, and click on ‘Search’

How does Auslogics File Recovery work

  • Wait while the deleted file recovery tool is searching for lost files.

Auslogics File Recovery 11

  • Once the search is over, select the files you want back and click the Recover Selected button to carry out Windows file recovery.

Restore files with Auslogics File Recovery 11

How to Recover Deleted Files Using Windows File Recovery

Windows File Recovery is a command-line deleted file recovery application that restores permanently lost files from USB devices (like a thumb drive), external drives, and internal drives. The tool can recover different types of files, from application and system files to photos, videos, and documents. It supports different file systems, including NTFS, exFAT, and FAT.

The Windows File Recovery tool uses different modes when performing file recovery in Windows 10. You’ll have to specify which mode to use when you launch the utility to recover deleted files:

Regular Mode: This is the suitable mode for NTFS drives that haven’t suffered corruption. While it has the advantage of being fast, it may not revive the file you’re looking for, especially if you lost it a long time ago.

Extensive Mode: The extensive mode is suitable for every drive and file type. It typically takes longer as it tries to recover files that may have been deleted long ago. It also works on corrupt drives and storage devices that have been reformatted.

Note: Using the Windows File Recovery tool may seem overwhelming because of the commands you’ll have to type. If you’re not comfortable operating your computer through the Command Prompt, you can ask an expert for help or head to the previous method, which shows you how to use a third-party tool with a GUI to recover deleted files in Windows 10.

Installing the deleted file recovery tool

The Windows File Recovery app does not support Windows 10 builds earlier than the May 2020 version. So, make sure you’re using the May 2020 (2004) build or later. It would be best to install Windows 10’s latest version. If you’re using an older version, search for Windows Update in the Start menu and click on “Check for updates” to manually check for Windows 10 updates.

The Windows File Recovery tool also works on Windows 11.

Now, follow these steps to install the deleted file recovery tool:

  1. Launch the Microsoft Store. If you don’t have the icon pinned to your taskbar, open the Start menu and search for it.
  2. After the store opens, go to the search bar and enter “Windows file recovery.”
  3. Click on the Get button once the application appears.

Restore files with Windows File Recovery

Clicking on the Open button will launch a Command window, but you’ll have to click on yes in the UAC pop-up before that. You can also open the All Apps section in the Start menu (Windows 11) or search for the app to open it.

Once the Command Prompt window appears, you’ll see a list of commands and syntaxes to guide you on how to use the tool to recover deleted files in Windows 10. This is the basic command:

winfr source-drive: destination-drive: [/mode]  [/switches]

winfr source-drive- destination-drive- [:mode] [:switches] command

Understanding the basic syntaxes

There are different syntaxes in the basic command. Let’s break them down.

source-drive: – this represents the drive where you want to recover deleted files. For example, if you’re trying to recover a file you deleted on your main drive, you’ll use C: in place of source:drive:. It must not be the same as the destination drive.

destination-drive: – this represents the drive where the tool will send the recovered file. For example, if you want the recovered file transferred to a USB drive, use E: (if the drive’s letter is E) in place of destination-drive:.

[/mode] – this is the placeholder for the mode you want to run. Type /regular to run the regular mode and type /extensive to run the extensive mode.

[/switches] – this is where you’ll type different switches that tell the tool what to do. For example, you can use the /n switch to tell the tool to recover a specific file type from a specific folder. For example, the following switch tells the tool to find a document in the Documents folder:

/n \users\<nameofuser>\Documents\WindowsRecovery.docx


  • Make sure to place a backslash at the end of a folder name if you want to search for all the deleted files in a folder. For example /n \users\<nameofuser>\Documents\
  • If there are spaces in the path to the file or folder, make sure the path is enclosed with quotes. For example /n “\users\<nameofuser>\Documents\Windows Recovery.docx”

Running a regular search

Now, let’s run a regular search for a recently deleted file named WindowsRecovery.docx in my documents folder. I’ll open the Windows File Recovery tool and enter the following command:

winfr C: E: /regular /n C:\Users\Sam\Documents\WindowsRecovery.docx

After pressing the Enter key, the tool will show a prompt. Type Y to continue. It will now scan your drive to search for the file. The app will try to recover the file if it finds it. If the process is successful, the file will be sent to a newly created folder – Recovery_<time and date> – in the destination drive.

the file will be sent to a newly created folder - Recovery_<time and date> - in the destination drive

If you can’t find the file, run a search of the entire folder instead using a command like this:

winfr C: E: /regular /n C:\Users\Sam\Documents\

If a file already exists, you can skip, overwrite, or keep both by entering the letter in the brackets.

Click on Y if you want to view the recovered file.

Click on Y if you want to view the recovered file

Running an extensive search

To run an extensive search, you only have to replace “regular” with “extensive.” So, the command should look like this:

winfr C: E: /extensive /n C:\Users\Sam\Documents\

Use the Restore Previous Versions Option to Perform Deleted File Recovery

  1. Open This PC or my computer and navigate to the folder where you lost the file.
  2. Right-click the folder and select the Restore Previous Versions option.
  3. The Previous Versions tab of the folder’s Properties dialog will now show up.
  4. You’ll find the previous versions under Folder Versions.

You’ll now see a list of versions that include files from restore points or a Windows backup you made.

Use Windows’ File History Utility to Recover Deleted Files in Windows 10

The File History utility allows you to recover files, provided you have a backup saved. However, you can’t turn it on unless you connect an external drive.

Launch Control Panel (you can search for it in the Start menu), then click on System and Security. After the System and Security page opens, click on “Restore your files with file history” under File History.


Use Windows’ File History Utility to Recover Deleted Files in Windows 10How to Prevent File Loss in Windows 10

Regularly Clean Up Your PC

With proper system cleanups, you may not need to recover deleted files at all. Decluttering your PC will help you organize your documents and avoid their accidental deletion. We have a detailed guide on proven ways to clean Windows, so make sure to check it if you want your system neat and tidy. You can also use Auslogics BoostSpeed to automate PC maintenance, including cleanups:

  1. Download and install the Auslogics BoostSpeed PC optimizer.
  2. Go to File -> Settings -> Scheduler -> My Scanner.
  3. Check the Enable Automatic Maintenance option.
  4. Proceed downwards and make sure the Disk Space option is selected. We recommend you to check the other options in this section as well.
  5. Choose how often and at what time your PC should be scanned.
  6. Click OK to confirm your choices.

How to Prevent File Loss in Windows 10 with Auslogics BoostSpeed


Keep Your System Updated

Being the most popular desktop OS worldwide, Windows 10 becomes a huge headache without regular updates. While they should arrive automatically, we recommend you to check the Windows Update page from time to time. This will help you avoid negative scenarios, including the need to perform deleted file recovery:

  1. Press the “Win + I” keyboard shortcut and once on the Settings screen, opt for “Update & Security.”
  2. Proceed to the Windows Update screen and on the right pane, click on “Check for updates.”
  3. Wait while Windows Update is running a search. Then install available updates.

How to update your OS via Windows Update



Protect Your System Against Malware

The number of malware attacks per year is huge, and your system can lose data due to them. While Microsoft regularly updates the built-in Windows Security solution, you are never completely safe. You need to follow digital privacy tips, eliminate common malware entry points, and know how to remove malware. This way, you won’t have to recover files lost to malware.


If you can’t find an important file or folder on your PC, it doesn’t mean it is gone for good. There are both built-in and third-party tools to perform file recovery in Windows 10. If you want a simple, user-friendly tool to recover deleted files, try Auslogics File Recovery. An alternative is Windows File Recovery, yet it may seem complicated. File History and Restore Previous Versions can help you too.


How to Recover Files Deleted From the Recycle Bin?

If you have removed files from the Recycle Bin, there is still a chance to get them back. In Windows, you can recover deleted files using built-in tools such as Windows File Recovery, File History and Restore Previous Versions. Alternatively, you can recover lost files with dedicated deleted file recovery software like Auslogics File Recovery.

What If I Permanently Delete a File in Windows 10?

If a file has bypassed the Recycle Bin or has been deleted from it, you may still have a chance to restore it. You can perform file recovery in Windows 10 with a dedicated undeleter program called Auslogics File Recovery. Windows File Recovery can also help you, but this command-line tool may take some getting used to. Another option is to run the File History utility.

How Can I Recover Permanently Deleted Files From the Recycle Bin Without Third-party Software?

In Windows 10, running Windows File Recovery could be the answer to how to recover files deleted from the Recycle Bin. Another option is to use the File History feature. Unfortunately, File History won’t work on earlier Windows versions, so in that case, try the built-in Restore Previous Versions solution.